Robert E. Murphy, SJ
Robert E. Murphy, SJ

Robert E. Murphy, SJ, 37, was born and raised just outside of New Orleans. When he was a young boy serving Mass at St. Edward the Confessor Church in his hometown of Metairie, a priest asked Murphy and the other altar servers if they had ever considered a vocation to religious life. While Murphy didn’t raise his hand that day, the question was one he kept close to his heart — both at Jesuit High School of New Orleans and, later, as he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Following his 1999 graduation, Murphy moved to Laurel, Mississippi, to pursue a career in physical therapy, while also studying at the University of Southern Mississippi to become a certified athletic trainer. Building on their experience of working T.E.C. (Teens Encounter Christ) retreats, Murphy and a close friend started a youth ministry group called FLANK (Forever Loving and Needing the King). Still feeling that something was missing in his life, he spent a year discerning his call to the priesthood before entering the Jesuits in 2003 at the novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. After taking vows, he was next missioned to Saint Louis University, where he earned a doctor of physical therapy degree while spending a semester at the Jesuit university in El Salvador, honing his Spanish skills and working in a medical clinic. For his regency assignment from 2008 to 2011, Murphy was missioned to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, where he was director of campus ministry, taught theology and Spanish, coached freshman soccer and assisted the athletic training staff. Missioned next to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Murphy earned both a Master of Divinity degree and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology while working with Boston College athletes as a trainer and serving as a deacon at St. Raphael Church in Medford, Massachusetts. (New Orleans Province) 

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